Looking to capitalise on the continued growth of the North American market for Australian wines, a businessman has launched the US's first Australian Wine Club.

GreatAustralianWines.com, an Internet-based wine distributor, will provide customers with a quarterly selection of Australian wines delivered to their door. In addition, consumers can order their favourite Australian wine or send a wine gift or club membership to friends.

"I am delighted to launch the first Australian Wine Club in the US," Great Australian Wines founder Michele Anderson said today (14 February), "and with the US wine market now the biggest in the world, Australia poised to become its largest wine supplier, and the Internet established as a significant and secure consumer business channel, the timing is ideal to bring Australia's leading wines directly to American consumers."

GreatAustralianWines.com currently serves 20 states from its Napa fulfillment centre, increasing to 26 by the Spring.

Anderson, an Australian who is a US permanent resident, said he selects the wines from amongst the 1,700 independent Australian wineries.

"Americans love Australian wine and are eager to experience the best we have to offer," Anderson said. "However, the reality for US consumers is that many stores carry mass-market Australian brands that don't even exist Down Under. In most instances it is impossible for a consumer to tell whether they are buying a speculative export-driven brand or a wine that Australians actually drink back home.

"Our research found that consumers were irritated by wine club shipments arriving too frequently and by high shipping charges," said Anderson "Most wine clubs are monthly and all it takes is a busy few weeks for your wine boxes to start piling up. I never want a customer to feel anxious about finding time to enjoy their Great Australian Wine Club selection so our Club shipments arrive each quarter, and come with no shipping & handling charges."